Understanding Your City

Council Briefing Book

When a new City Council is elected, City staff prepare briefing material for all Councillors. These briefing binders contain information on the wide range of programs, policies, and issues Councillors need to know about. The 2014 briefing material is available online. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about many of the things City Council discusses.

You can download the City Council Briefing Book (Volume 1, 444 pages / 20.3 MB; Volume 2, 385 pages / 16.9 MB) or view the Council Briefing Book's individual notes and sections below.

Each of the Briefing Book's two volumes can be navigated by the tabs down the left hand side. To read the individual notes, click on the titles.

Volume 1: Toronto's Government

Governance and Decision-Making


The Mayor's Power & Duties

1.1.1  Ceremonial Role of the Mayor

1.2.1  The Mayor's Role in an Emergency

1.3.1  The Mayor's Role in Council Meetings

1.4.1  Restoration of the Mayor's Powers and


City Council

1.2.1  Decision Making of City Council

1.2.2  Council Advisory Bodies

1.2.3  Commissioner for Taking Affidavits

1.3  The City Manager and Senior Administration
1.4  The Public Service
1.5  City Agencies and Corporations
1.6  Accountability Officers
1.7  Open Meeting Requirements
1.8  Public Participation in Decision Making
1.9  Public Appointments

The City's Finances

5.1  Financial Planning and Budget Overview
5.2  2015 Interim Operating and Capital Estimates
5.3  Establishment of 2015 Budget Process

Integrated Planning and Performance

5.5  Long Term Fiscal Plan
5.6  State of Good Repair

Overview of City Revenues

5.7.1  Property Tax

5.7.2  User Fees

5.7.3  Provincial and Federal Transfer

5.7.4  Municipal Land Transfer Tax

5.7.5  Development Charges


Capital Financing, the Issuance of Debentures 
and Credit Ratings

5.9  Investment Management
5.10  City's Reserves and Reserve Funds

Delegated Authorities: Procurement, Finance
and Real Estate


Benefits Plans for Toronto Public Service,
Elected Officials & Accountability Officers

5.13  Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate

Profiles of City Programs

6.1 311 Toronto
6.2 Affordable Housing Office 
6.3 Children's Services
6.4 City Clerk's Office 
6.5 City Manager's Office
6.6 City Planning
6.7 Court Services
6.8 Economic Development and Culture
6.9 Engineering and Construction Services 
6.10 Facilities Management and Real Estate
6.11 Fleet Services 
6.12 Information and Technology
6.13 Legal Services
6.14 Long-Term Care Homes and Services
6.15 Municipal Licensing and Standards
6.16 Office of the Chief Financial Officer 
6.17 Office of the Treasurer
6.18 Parks, Forestry and Recreation 
6.19 Policy, Planning, Finance and Administration
6.20 Shelter, Support and Housing Administration 
6.21 Social Development, Finance and Administration
6.22 Solid Waste Management Services
6.23 Toronto Building 
6.24 Toronto Employment and Social Services
6.25 Toronto Fire Services
6.26 Toronto Paramedic Services
6.27 Toronto Water
6.28 Transportation Services

Profiles of City Agencies

7.1  Arena Boards of Management
7.2  Business Improvement Area Boards
7.3  Civic Theatres

Community Centre Boards of Management
(Association of Community Centres)

7.5  Exhibition Place Board of Governors
7.6  Heritage Toronto 
7.7  Toronto Atmospheric Fund 
7.8  Toronto Parking Authority

Toronto Police Services Board and
Toronto Police Service

7.10  Toronto Public Health and Board of Health 
7.11  Toronto Public Library Board
7.12  Toronto Transit Commission
7.13  Toronto Zoo Board of Management 
7.14  Yonge-Dundas Square Board 

Contact Information


The City's Senior Management

11.1.1 City of Toronto Organization Chart

11.2  Accountability Officers

Key Service Contacts

11.3.1  Parks, Forestry & Recreation
            District Managers and Directors

Cluster B Staff contacts grouped by Community
Council District (City Planning; Engineering &
Construction Services; Municipal Licensing &
Standards; Solid Waste Management Services;
Transportation Services; Toronto Building; and
Toronto Water):

11.3.2  Staff contacts for Etobicoke-York
            Community Council District

11.3.3  Staff contacts for North York Community
            Council District

11.3.4  Staff contacts for Toronto-East York
            Community Council District

11.3.5  Staff contacts for Scarborough
            Community Council District 

Volume 2: Key City Initiatives

Good Governance


City's Strategic Plan and 26 Strategic Actions
for 2013 to 2018

1.2  Talent Blueprint 2014-2018:
Toronto's Workforce Plan
1.3  Performance Measurement and Benchmarking

Opening up Government: Building Trust,
Transparency and Participation

1.5  Civic Engagement Strategy
1.6  A Participatory Budgeting Pilot for Toronto
1.7  Toronto Ward Boundary Review

Local Appeal Body for Minor Variance and
Consent Application Appeals in Toronto

1.9  Shared Services Project

Customer Service Excellence: Channel/Counter
Strategy Project


Comprehensive Reviews of Licensing and
Standards By-Laws

City Building

Planning and Development
2.1  Official Plan Review
2.2  Section 37

Comprehensive to the Core:
Planning Toronto's Downtown


Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization Project


Redevelopment of St Lawrence Market North Project

2.6  Development Permit System

Regeneration Area Studies Resulting from
Employment Lands Official Plan Review

2.8  Waterfront Overview
2.9  Next Phase of Waterfront Revitalization
2.10  Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Expansion
2.11  Port Lands Acceleration Initiative
Public Realm

Improvement to the Public Realm - Coordinated
Street Furniture Program and Wayfinding Strategy

2.13  Complete Streets Guidelines

Beautification of the Public Realm -
Graffiti Management Plan (GMP) and
Street Art Toronto (stART) Program

Infrastructure and Technology

Overview of Federal and Provincial
Infrastructure Funding Agreements

2.16  Toronto Hydro Infrastructure Renewal Program
2.17  Toronto Public Libraries: New Technologies
2.18  Building Activity

Transit and Transportation

3.1  Metrolinx Overview
3.2  Metrolinx-Toronto Light Rail Rapid Transit Program
3.3  Scarborough Subway Extension
3.4  Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension Project
3.5  Relief Line Project Assessment
3.6  Union Station Revitalization Project
3.7  Toronto Waterfront Transit

Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Eglinton Connects
Planning Study

3.9  Finch West LRT
3.10  Sheppard East LRT
3.11  Yonge Subway Extension

"Feeling Congested": Review of Official Plan
Transportation Policies


Measures to Mitigate Construction-Related Traffic


Street Closures During Special Events and
Construction Activities

3.15  Coordination of Capital Programs
3.16  Cycling Plan and Infrastructure

Strategic Plan and Rehabilitation Projects for the
F.G. Gardiner Expressway


Gardiner East Expressway and Lakeshore
Reconfiguration Environmental
Assessment &
 Integrated Urban Design Study

3.19  Allen Road/Downsview Environmental Assessment
3.20  Winter Services Overview

Environmental Sustainability

Climate Change
5.1  Resilient City: Preparing for Climate Change
5.2  Emergency Management
5.3  Addressing Climate Change in Toronto
5.4  Toronto's Tree Canopy
Water Management
5.5  Wet Weather Flow Management Master Plan
5.6  Basement Flooding Protection Program

Don River and Central Waterfront Wet Weather
Flow System to Control Combined Sewer Overflows


Watercourse Erosion Management and 
Floodplain Management

5.9  Lead in Drinking Water Mitigation Strategy
5.10  Water Treatment and Supply Sustainability Strategy
Solid Waste Management
5.11  Long-Term Waste Management Strategy

Social Development

Child Care
6.1  Toronto's Child Care System
6.2  Affordable Housing Plan and Investments
6.3  Transformation of Housing and
Homelessness Services
6.4  Social Housing Operating Funding Issues
6.5  Toronto Community Housing Capital Repair
Needs and Financing Plans
6.6  Comprehensive Review of Rooming Houses
6.7  Multi-Residential Apartment Buildings (MRAB)
Audit and Enforcement Program
Long-Term Care Homes
6.8  Long Term Care Homes and Services Capital
Renewal Strategy
6.9  George Street Revitalization
Community Development
6.10  Municipal Poverty Reduction and
Social Equity Strategies
6.11  Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020
6.12  Toronto Transit Fare Equity
6.13  Interdivisional Enhanced Responsiveness for
Vulnerable Individuals (SPIDER program)
6.14  City Partnership with Toronto School Boards
6.15  Funding Partnerships for City Programs
6.16  Student Nutrition Program
6.17  Automated Income Verification for
Income-Tested Benefit Programs
Community Recreation
6.18  Parks, Forestry and Recreation
Facility Planning
6.19  Registered Recreation Programs, Permits
and User Fees
Community Safety
6.20  Master Fire Plan
6.21  Toronto Paramedic Services Growth Plan
6.22  Toronto Police Paid Duties